Industries Commercial Real Estate

Three business expansions in Virginia Beach will create 240 jobs

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Virginia Beach got a lot of good news Tuesday: two business expansions and the relocation of a regional headquarters, all at Oceana West Corporate Park. The developments are expected to create 240 new jobs.

In what was the biggest deal, Architectural Graphics has purchased an industrial building in the park with 156,450 square feet of space for $5.5 million. The acquisition will allow the company to consolidate the more than 100,000 square feet of space it currently leases in multiple locations throughout the city.

The move also allows for the expansion of manufacturing operations, which is expected to bring 125 new jobs to the city. Architectural Graphics said it will invest $4.3 million in the property at 2820 Crusader Circle. “This consolidation allows the company to create efficiencies in our operations, and the additional space will be used to expand and add new manufacturing capabilities,” James Raynor, the company’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

Architectural Graphics was founded in 1969. Its headquarters has been located since 1987 at 2655 International Parkway in Virginia Beach. The company provides architectural interior and exterior sign systems, design, maintenance, imaging and installation. Other locations are in Atlanta and Knoxville, Tenn..

The Virginia Beach Development Authority has awarded the company a grant of $500,000 based on its projected capital investment.

In the second announcement, AvalonBay Communities Inc.—a major real estate investment trusts based in Alexandria ― plans to expand its Corporate Shared Services Center that opened in Virginia Beach in 2007. The expansion will increase its current office space by 17,509 square feet to a total of 39,700 square feet at 2901 Sabre St.
The company said it plans to increase the number of jobs in the city by 85 to a total of 235, with a combined payroll of $7.6 million. 

“AvalonBay’s Virginia Beach location provides vital financial and management support for its apartment communities across the country,” Warren Harris, director of Virginia Beach Economic Development, said in a statement. “It has made a significant investment in our city not only in terms of its physical size, but also in its investment to hire and train a very competent work force.”

The company was awarded an Economic Development Investment Program grant of $25,000 based on the capital investment anticipated with the expansion of $1.4 million, in addition to the number of new jobs.

Rounding out the good news was a move by BFPE International, a fire protection and security system firm, to relocate its regional headquarters from Chesapeake to 15,660 square feet of industrial space at 2601 Reliance Drive.

The privately held company has its headquartered in Hanover, Md., and has other offices in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and North Carolina. It also maintains an international presence with projects in Bermuda, Egypt, Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia. BFPE provide sales, installation, inspection, testing and engineering services of fire and security systems. The company is a small, woman- and minority-owned certified Class A contractor.

“BFPE considered relocating out of the Hampton Roads region so we are particularly pleased to retain this company in the region and in Virginia Beach,” Harris said in a statement.. “We continually seek regional headquarter operations to our growing business roster. BFPE fits our target industry efforts as we continue to grow our corporate business base.”

The company plans to invest $300,000 in the real estate build-out, $525,000 in furniture, fixtures and equipment, and $125,000 in machinery and tools. The expansion also will enable it to add 30 jobs. It received an economic development grant of $50,000 based on the company’s capital investment.


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